During my PhD-studies I concern myself with the evolution of the regulatory landscape of Gremlin1.
Gremlin1, a BMP antagonist, facilitates the self-regulation and maintenance of the SHH/GREM1/AER-FGF feedback loop as it is important for the progression of the limb bud outgrowth and formation of the correct number of digits. Gremlin is regulated by cis-regulatory elements located downstream in a large genomic landscape. These elements are highly conserved in vertebrates.
The aim is to understand how these cis-regulatory elements have evolved during evolution and in which kind they may have contributed to the diverse phenotypes of vertebrate appendages.
(Nat Commun 12, 5557 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25810-1)